COMMUNITY IMPACTS

HU.4.a. Land and property

Before buying, renting, acquiring or otherwise accessing land or property, does the company ensure that all affected owners and users of the land or property, have been adequately consulted and compensated?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

This question is relevant when the company buys, rents, acquires or otherwise accesses land or property.

 

In many countries the management of land and property presents a legal challenge. Registration of ownership may be lacking or informal systems of ownership may exist alongside formal systems. Individuals, including indigenous peoples, who use or reside on land may lack proof of ownership or usage rights. Especially in poor and rural areas, loss of land or property without adequate compensation may significantly harm the livelihoods of the affected individuals and their families. Vulnerable groups, such as women, indigenous peoples, or migrants are often deprived of their rights. Therefore, the company must investigate land ownership properly and consult with all affected groups before acquiring or accesses land or property.

 

The question relates to the right to own property, the right to adequate housing and the right to food. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Articles 17 and 25; Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), Article 15 (2) and 16 (h); ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (C169, 1989, Article 14).

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

Prior to buying, renting, acquiring or otherwise accessing land or property, whether directly or through a third party, the company identifies all existing owners and users of the land or property, including information land users and customary owners.

The company investigates the past usage and ownership of the land or property to ensure that past users and owners have not been wrongfully removed, and that any expropriations by the authorities have been conducted in accordance with international law.

The company consults with affected users and owners of the land or property (including women, tenants, settlers, minorities and other vulnerable groups including indigenous peoples) and seeks their free, prior and informed consent before continuing to acquire or access the land or property.

The company ensures that its lease or purchase of residential property and sourcing of food commodities does not considerably make housing and food scarce or too expensive for the local people.

The company ensures that affected owners and users of the land or property are adequately compensated to help them restore their standards of living or livelihoods to the same or higher than before, and that the compensation standards are transparent and applied consistently to all communities and persons affected.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Before buying, renting, acquiring or otherwise accessing land or property, does the company ensure that all affected owners and users of the land or property, have been adequately consulted and compensated?

 

HU.4.b. Security arrangements

Does the company take steps to ensure that company security arrangements are in accordance with international principles for law enforcement and the use of force?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

This question is only relevant for companies that have security arrangements involving private security guards or public security officials such as police or military personnel.

 

The company is allowed to use security guards to protect its workers and property where this is considered necessary. However, the company should ensure that its security guards, whether directly employed or contracted, behave in accordance with national law and international principles for law enforcement and the use of force. This includes preventing excessive use of force, abuse of power or other human rights abuses by security personnel towards other employees or local communities. If the company owns or uses installations that are guarded by public security personnel, including police or military, it should engage with the relevant authorities to ensure that such security functions are conducted in accordance with international human rights principles for law enforcement and the use of force.

 

The question relates to the right to life, liberty and security of person. It is based on general principles contained in the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), Articles 6 (1) and 9 (1); UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials (1990); UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials; the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company regularly conducts security risk assessments, and ensures that company security arrangements, including the deployment of private guards or public security personnel, are proportionate to the security risk.

Company security risk assessments include the risk of human rights abuses by private and public security personnel.

The company selects private security firms based on information about professional ability, level of staff training, quality of equipment, past involvement in human rights abuses, links with political factions or organisations and other relevant criteria.

Contracts with private security firms include requirements related to international human rights standards for law enforcement and use of force; require the investigation and discipline of any unlawful or abusive conduct by security guards; and allow for termination of the contract in case of such conduct.

There is a manual defining the duties of security personnel, and all security personnel receive training on rules of conduct based on international human rights standards for law enforcement and the use of force.

Where public security personnel are assigned to company facilities, the company seeks to ensure transparency concerning its interactions with public security agencies, and the company communicates to the relevant public security agencies its desire that security functions be conducted in accordance with international human rights standards for law enforcement and the use of force.

The company has a procedure for recording security-related incidents, including a mechanism for handling complaints from staff or local communities related to the conduct of security personnel, and forwards credible allegations of human rights abuses to the relevant authorities.

The company has a procedure for monitoring and evaluating its security arrangements, including the proportionality of the security arrangement; impact on local communities; impact on existing local tensions or conflicts; security incidents recorded; and credible allegations of human rights abuses by company security personnel. Representatives from the local community are consulted as part of the monitoring.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company take steps to ensure that company security arrangements are in accordance with international principles for law enforcement and the use of force?

 

HU.4.c. Community engagement

Does the company engage with local communities on the actual or potential human rights impacts of its operations?

ABOUT THIS QUESTION

Through its operations, the company may negatively impact the assess of local communities to resources or livelihoods. This includes burdens to the local food or water supply, construction or transportation obstructing the access of local communities to hunting and fishing grounds, as well as air pollution or water contamination. Communities that are potentially affected by the method and type of operations conducted by the company should be given an opportunity to express opinions and objections regarding major company decisions affecting their access to resources and livelihoods. Encouraging community involvement and gathering perspectives of the affected community through stakeholder dialogue also allows the company to operate in a socially responsible and informed manner and to increase its legitimacy to operate in the area. Other impacts of the method and type of operations, particularly negative effects on any person or group of its means of subsistence, should be a part of this stakeholder dialogue, to ensure that the land remains suitable for future usage by the community. All activities should be undertaken with a view to avoiding, minimising, and mitigating environmental damage, and ensuring that no irreversible environmental damage takes place.

 

The question relates to right to own property, the right to adequate housing, the right to food, the right to water and the right to health. It is based on general principles contained in the following: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 25; Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (1991), Article 3; ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (C169, 1989), Article 7; ILO Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention (C174, 1993), Article 4; OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (2000), s. V., Article 2; Permanent Peoples' Tribunal Charter on Industrial Hazards and Human Rights (1994), Article 10; Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), Principle 10. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Article 11 (1) and (2); ILO Workers Housing Recommendation (R115, 1961), Articles 18 and 24.

ANSWER THIS QUESTION

First answer the following indicators (step 1) and then the main question (step 2).

Step 1. Answer the following indicators:

The company has a commitment to engage openly with communities in and around its area of operations, prior to, during and after commencing activities that may negatively impact their access to resources (e.g. water, food, land) or livelihoods (e.g. fishing or hunting grounds).

The company communicates and consults with local communities prior to, during and after commencing activities to prevent, reduce and mitigate impacts.

The company takes steps to remedy the legitimate concerns of local communities regarding any negative impacts of the company's operations on the access to resources or livelihoods.

Step 2. Answer the main question:

Does the company engage with local communities on the actual or potential human rights impacts of its operations?

 
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